Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), which formerly known as Kidaro is a desktop virtualization based on Virtual PC 2007 to run legacy Windows applications on Windows Vista. The function of MED-V is similar to CrossOver on Mac OS X and Wine on Linux operating system, which allow incompatible different platform-based applications to run using a compatibility layer, without having to run a virtual machine which requires a separate license for the operating system.

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization, however, is not cross-platform, as it’s meant to provide support and run Windows XP and Windows 2000 legacy programs in Windows Vista without the need of testing or migration or compatibility trial.

MED-V creates a virtual machine transparently in the background with legacy version of Windows that the application software needs to run, and then automatically loads the legacy application as if it’s native application although it’s actually on the virtual machine environment. MED-V leverages on Virtual PC 2007 to provide an enterprise solution for desktop virtualization so that most program can run independent of the local desktop configuration and operating system (OS).

With MED-V as solution for Application-to-OS incompatibility, Microsoft hopes to accelerates the upgrade path to Windows Vista. Applications that cannot be installed on Windows Vista or have not been fully tested on Windows Vista® may be installed by the administrator in a virtual machine that runs a previous version of the OS (e.g., Windows XP or Windows 2000) and operate in their native, supported environment.

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization is actually Kidaro which Microsoft acquired in May 2009. And now it’s part of an integral tool called Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a dynamic solution available to Software Assurance customers that helps reduce application deployment costs, enable delivery of applications as services, and better manage and control enterprise desktop environments, such as Softricity, DesktopStandard, AssetMetrix, and Winternals Software.

MED-V v1 Beta can be downloaded from Microsoft Connect website as a single file or using FTM (File Transfer Manager). The MED-V download package includes mandatory VPC 2007 QFE – KB958162.msp, server installation, client installation, workspace installation, installation and configuration manual, Release Notes, Quick Start Guide and demo policy file – QuickStart_Policy.xml. User is required to register for the beta. More information about MED-V, including introduction video and demo video can be read on microsoft.com.

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